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Aral Sea

A saline endorheic basin in Central Asia; it lies between Kazakhstan (Aktobe and Kyzylorda provinces) in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the south. The name roughly translates as "Sea of Islands", referring to more than 1,534 islands that once dotted its waters. It once covered some 26,300 sq mi (68,000 sq km) and was the fourth largest inland body of water in the world, but diversion of the waters of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers for irrigation has led to an overall reduction of its surface area by more than half since 1960.

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